Why You Should Tailor Your Resume For Every Job

Should you tailor your resume for every job application? Absolutely.

You should tailor your resume/CV for every job posting. Yes, you heard this right! You need to change your resume for every job posting and I will tell you why.

I am going to be honest with you and say that I didn’t believe in tailoring my resume for every job posting. Especially when you’re trying to apply to a million internships or jobs. What I found is that applying to so many places and not changing your resume each time, actually works against you. It’s kind of funny because you would think that you are casting a wide net for fish, but what you’re actually doing is spreading yourself thin. Hear me out when I say that it is okay to be a little picky when applying to internships or jobs.

Related: Revamp Your Resume Skills Section

A couple of years ago I was desperately looking for an internship. I nearly applied everywhere that had an opening. However, if you’re like me, this is completely a waste of your time. I will admit that I received a few calls and got a few interviews. This was great! I thought that my efforts were finally paying off! What I learned was that oftentimes these work environments were not for me. There was this particular interview for an SEO marketing internship. Let’s just say that the interviewers didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about their jobs. This was such a turn off for me and I decided to not pursue the opportunity any further. However, when I started to tailor my resume for the postings that I really felt passionate about, I started to get some interesting results.

Now, there were postings that I completely loved but didn’t receive a call or an offer for. It happens and that’s okay. But if you’re having a hard time catching any fish, try to tailor your resume for every job posting you apply for. Still not convinced? Well, I have some reasons that might change your mind.

Employers Want To Know What You Can Do For Them

Even if you tailor your cover letter to the job, you should also tailor your resume. When an employer looks at your resume, they want to know what you can specifically bring to the table. So, if you’re applying for administrative jobs, marketing jobs, and social media jobs with one resume, these jobs all have different functions. Yes, they can very well interact with each other, but it’s really important to zoom into what the employer wants. That’s why job descriptions are so crucial to the job search. The job description is the blueprint for you, so please consider using it when you tailor your resume. Avoid treating your resume like your professional life story, and try treating it like you are showing the employer what you can bring to the table.

It Makes You Seem Professional

I have been guilty of using a resume for multiple applications because I wanted to show how diverse I can be. I definitely think there’s a way to show that you’re diverse in your resume. However, when you tailor your resume to the job posting, you appear to be more professional. Hear me out! Remember the example of applying for administrative jobs, marketing jobs, and social media jobs? You may very well have all the skills to carry out each of these areas, but to a potential employer, you seem a bit unorganized and scattered. This is why you should tailor your resume to the job posting! Try to mimic the same language in the posting.

Take an administrative job for example. It might say something like, “Use Microsoft Excel to track project progress”. If you’ve never been in an administrative position but have done administrative duties, consider highlighting those duties. For example, as a blogger, I would use the administrative duties I have. This includes using Microsoft Excel to organize past and future blog posts in order to track schedule progress. Here you’ve taken the words Microsoft Excel, track, and progress. If an administrative job doesn’t include social media duties but you have that experience, I would consider these to come secondary to your resume. You really want to highlight the things you have that are a part of the job.

Tailoring Your Resume Makes You Unique

Think of all the people who aren’t tailoring their resumes. When you tailor yours, you could very well have a better chance at getting an interview or even an offer. Yes, you should mimic the language of the job posting, but you should also show unique attributes that compliment your resume. For example, say you grew your blog by 5,000 followers in 6 months. That’s pretty impressive! If you’re applying for a social media job, consider highlighting something like this. Try using language to the effect of, “Utilized social media marketing that saw a 50% increase in website traffic in October”.

What if you were a social media intern and all you did was post on Facebook? Well, jazz up this language. Opt for phrasing that reads, “Drafted copy for social media posts that received X amount likes and shares”. If you have a really great supervisor, ask them if they know what the CRM results were after a major campaign. Anything you’ve had a hand in (no matter how small it may seem to you), I would include it to make you stand out.

I hope you’re convinced that you should tailor your resume for every job posting. It can be incredibly helpful if you’ve found yourself in a bit of a pickle. Try it out and see if it changes anything for you!

Question of the day: Do you tailor your resume to every job posting? Do you think you will now?

As always, if you like these types of posts or if you are looking for more career-related advice, click here.

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Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash


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